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Investing over the life cycle with long-run labor income risk

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Author Info

  • Luca Benzoni
  • Olena Chyruk

Abstract

Many financial advisors and much of the academic literature often argue that young people should place most of their savings in stocks. In contrast, a significant fraction of U.S. households do not hold stocks. Investors typically hold very little in stocks when they are young, progressively increase their holdings as they age, and decrease their exposure to stock market risk when they approach retirement. The authors show how long-run labor income risk helps explain this evidence. Moreover, they discuss the effect of long-run labor income risk on the valuation of pension plan obligations, their funding, and the allocation of pension assets across different investment classes.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its journal Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): (2009)
Issue (Month): Q III ()
Pages: 29-43

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhep:y:2009:i:qiii:p:29-43:n:v.33no.3

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Related research

Keywords: Income ; Stock market ; Labor market ; Wages;

References

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  1. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 1999. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 7271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Luca Benzoni & Pierre Collin-Dufresne & Robert S. Goldstein, 2007. "Portfolio choice over the life-cycle when the stock and labor markets are cointegrated," Working Paper Series WP-07-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris Telmer & Amir Yaron, 1996. "Asset pricing with idiosyncratic risk and overlapping generations," Economics Working Papers 405, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 1999.
  4. Haliassos, Michalis & Michaelides, Alexander, 2001. "Portfolio Choice and Liquidity Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 2822, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. John Y. Campbell & João F. Cocco & Francisco J. Gomes & Pascal J. Maenhout, 2001. "Investing Retirement Wealth: A Life-Cycle Model," NBER Chapters, in: Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 439-482 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bulow, Jeremy I, 1982. "What Are Corporate Pension Liabilities?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(3), pages 435-52, August.
  7. John Geanakoplos & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2008. "Reforming Social Security with Progressive Personal Accounts," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1664, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  8. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Zeldes, Stephen P., 1991. "The consumption of stockholders and nonstockholders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 97-112, March.
  9. Miquel Faig & Pauline Shum, 2002. "Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Personal Illiquid Projects," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 303-328, 02.
  10. Davis, Steven J. & Willen, Paul S., 2013. "Occupation-level income shocks and asset returns: their covariance and implications for portfolio choice," Working Papers 13-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, revised 24 Oct 2013.
  11. James M. Poterba & Andrew A. Samwick, 1997. "Household Portfolio Allocation Over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 6185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Zvi Bodie, 2005. "Pension Insurance," DNB Working Papers 066, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  13. Motohiro Yogo & Jessica Wachter, 2007. "Why do Household Portfolio Shares Rise in Wealth?," 2007 Meeting Papers 929, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Carroll, Christopher D. & Samwick, Andrew A., 1997. "The nature of precautionary wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 41-71, September.
  15. Luca Benzoni & Pierre Collin-Dufresne & Robert S. Goldstein, 2007. "Portfolio Choice over the Life-Cycle when the Stock and Labor Markets Are Cointegrated," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(5), pages 2123-2167, October.
  16. John Heaton & Deborah Lucas, 2000. "Portfolio Choice and Asset Prices: The Importance of Entrepreneurial Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1163-1198, 06.
  17. Haliassos, Michael & Bertaut, Carol C, 1995. "Why Do So Few Hold Stocks?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(432), pages 1110-29, September.
  18. John Y. Campbell, 2006. "Household Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(4), pages 1553-1604, 08.
  19. Deborah Lucas, 2007. "Valuing & Hedging: Defined Benefit Pension Obligations - The Role of Stocks Revisited," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2006 169, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  20. Luis M. Viceira, 2001. "Optimal Portfolio Choice for Long-Horizon Investors with Nontradable Labor Income," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(2), pages 433-470, 04.
  21. Hanno Lustig & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2005. "The Returns on Human Capital: Good News on Wall Street is Bad News on Main Street," NBER Working Papers 11564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Gomes, Francisco J & Michaelides, Alexander, 2005. "Optimal Life-Cycle Asset Allocation: Understanding the Empirical Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 4853, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Tano Santos & Pietro Veronesi, 2006. "Labor Income and Predictable Stock Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(1), pages 1-44.
  24. Alexander Michaelides & Francisco J. Gomes, 2005. "Optimal life cycle asset allocation : understanding the empirical evidence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 193, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mehlkopf, R.J., 2011. "Risk sharing with the unborn," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-4960700, Tilburg University.
  2. Benzoni, Luca & Chyruk, Olena, 2013. "Human Capital and Long-Run Labor Income Risk," Working Paper Series WP-2013-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

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